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Ahh Karen. . . I love that story and never get sick of hearing it. And that may be the first time I've heard why you call each other "Harriet" and "Valentine". So. . . Happy Valentine's Day to you both and a big hug to Annie on her birthday.

Becky (aka: beckywedd)


I enjoy your blog, enjoy your photos, found you somehow through one crafty link or another . . . and I LOVE this story. I got chills and don't even know you! How cool is that for a cool Internet? Thanks for sharing life, that's a very cool Valentine story!!!!


I said "cool" way too many times in that last post. I promise I'm not 16. hahhahaaa!

Vicki A

Everytime you share that story on your blog I get goosebumps....Ahh, I am such the hopeless romantic. Thanks for sharing Karen; I never get tired of reading it. Happy Anniversary to you both and a great big Happy Birthday to Annie! :)


Have a happy anniversary, Karen (and Josh)! No matter how often you tell the story, I enjoy reading about it.


Awwww, I think the fact that Annie was born exactly one year after you meeting Josh is absolutley romantic and wonderful. It's so wonderful that you found happiness with John and have created this wonderful family! Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday!


I don't have to do the bad math. My son missed my one year meeting anniversary by about 3 weeks. It doesn't make us look "great", but we knew what we wanted. And for the record, I'm crying all over my laptop at your story even though I've heard it before. It's a great story....

(I had not heard the quote part...I think that's what started the waterworks. Go, JoshDowns, Go!)

laura j

What a touching love story....thanks for telling it again. As fate would have it, it seems that you were meant to be with each other. It's amazing how such depths of emotion and feelings can be felt through words and photos for people that you have never met! You had me in tears and then, in the next moment I was smiling. Blessings to you and your family.


I've been following your blog faithfully for months. I love the way you take pictures and the way you tell your story. Our son turned 11 today and we have been married 11 1/2 years ... so don't feel too bad.


What a wonderful story!!!! It's so nice to know that really great things still happen when you least expect it.


It's an amazing story...I don't blame you for wanting to keep telling it!


Love finds you when you finally quit looking for it! Congratulations on finding a romantic "keeper" (the best ones just happen to be smart, geeky, Republicans!) Have a great anniversary and Happy Birthday Annie!

Kim Huschke

wonderful story....thanks so much for sharing it with us.



I absolutely love this story :)


Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday to Miss Annie

That Josh Downs is a keeper-you are both very lucky to have each other. I love hearing your love story!


Michelle (aka mybelle101)

Love that story, no matter how many times you tell it! :) Happy Anniversary to both of you, and Happy Birthday to Annie!!


I can never hear that story too many times. :) If it's meant to be, it is meant to be. You and Josh Downs owe a huge debt of gratitude to the person asleep in your seat.


I love this story, and I just love you to pieces Karen. I always check your blog when I need a lift to brighten my day.

Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday Annie. =)



Your love story seems like something that can only exist in the imagination of a writer. Love it!!! And I love the name 'Annaliesa'...I would have loved a fancy name like that. My family "abbreviated" my name to 'Annabanana' which then became simply, 'Bananas'...

Heather Dietz

Love hearing your story, Karen! I love the way put your life and all of it's wonderful moments out there for us trusty followers of yours! I really feel like I know you! Tell Annie Happy Birtday!!! (My Zach will be 2 tomorrow as well!!!) It's a great day!!!


I can't believe she was born a year to the day after you met. That is awesome! Happy Birthday Annie! Happy Anniversary Josh and Karen!


I always love reading this story! It is a wonderful one to tell. :)

Happy meeting Anniversary and Happy Birthday Annie. =)


I'm glad you never get tired of telling that story because I never get tired of hearing it!!

Josh Downs---you should know that when she talks about you while teaching a class, the whole room swoons right with her! You are one very loved man! :)

Happy Valentine's Day (and Annie's birthday) to one of the cutest couples ever!


What a beautiful story!

Tammy Mellish

I love hearing that story.. it gets better and better each time. Good stuff! I wonder if I ever mentioned that I was there, in Atlanta for the week at CHA! I was there assisting the local scrapbook store owner to select and purchase product (and also to join up with the Scrapping With Style and Leave Memories (stamping) girls.. I used to design with them. Wished I'd met you all those years ago! Happy Birthday Annie girl! I'm right behind you.. on the 20th.. 'course, I'm quite a few years ahead of you honey bun! LOL


ohhhh! I have tears, that is the coolest story! I had never heard your meeting story, other than you met on a plane. Funny thing, fate is.
Congrats on 4 years, Happy Birthday Annie, and here's to many more for all of you!

susan helms

Love Love Love this story. What an amazing way to meet your life partner!!! Happy Birthday Annie!!


Ohhh. . .That answers a few of my questions! : )
~I stumbled upon your blog recently (I think via Ali Edwards) and have enjoyed stopping by ever since. I LOVE your photos! I will have to save up for one of your classes. : ) ~Anyway, your luuuvvvvv story plays out like a movie! : ) It put a smile on my face just reading it!! Good for you!! (And I understand what you're saying re: 'the math'. . .My 12 year old still hasn't put two and two together about my June '96 wedding & his October '96 birth!. . .If it's meant to be~it's meant to be. . .that's all that truly matters) : )
Happy Anniversary, & Happy Birthday to your lil' one.


No math majors here! I have a child just like that! Love this blog and pictures!


such an amazing story and definately sounds like you two were meant to be together and someone was definately watching over you.

Kim Hastie

What a wonderful was meant to be:)
Sounds like you've got a great guy and your daughter's name is so lovely.
You are a fantastic scrapbooker and an incredible photographer for sure...but I think you could have been a fantastic writer too. You have such a way with words and stories. I love your blog and your way of telling a story. Very compelling.
Happy Valentine's Day and a very Happy Birthday to your little one!


Karen (& Josh) -

your quote lifted me up - I really needed that!!! Inspired me to remember my own story and blog about it...

most importantly - thank you for ever sending that first quote to Karen, Josh - and yes, Beer could be indisputable proof of God's love for us all =)

thanks again - for reminding me of how I roll!!!


P.S. Happy birthday Annie!!!

Charmayne Bowling

Seriously Karen-it couldn't get any dreamier or more romantic then that. You have a wonderful story ~ isn't it awesome to never get tired of telling people how you met!?! I love sharing how my hubby and I met-it was just perfect for him and I. As they say, "the rest is history". Happy Birthday to Annie and Happy Valentines Day. :)


Even though I've heard that story before, I still love it! What a great story-meant to be, that's for sure!


I love that story; It is so sweet. Happy Anniversary to you and Happy Birthday to Annie.

Yvonne Michelle

I'm doing the single-mom-of-five-raising-kids-alone-working-full-time-as-a-tax-consultant thing. I have so totally given up on love or finding anyone again... but reading your post made a little tiny spark inside of me think... maybe? Someday? Pretty please?

I'm really happy that you found love. I can feel it when I read your posts. You have a great family, and you seem like a way cool person. I hope to be lucky enough to get into one of your photography classes someday. :)


Happy birthday to little Miss Annie!

Love that quote (and I don't mean the one about beer) Annie's full name...and love your story.

Hope you have a great Anniversary & Valentine's Day!


Karen, I don't even know you, but my eyes were tearing up when I read your story.
I love reading your blog :)


So as "how we met stories" go I think that is one of my favorites. I am happy for all of you that you could not change your flight that fateful day.

Happy Birthday to Little Miss Annie!!

I got my "year in the making" kit today. I git my M&M's!!! I think you your coustomer service ROCKS!!!

Jo Baer

Happy Special Day! Kissmet.
I can see the movie now... Meg Ryan for you? How about Russell Crow for Harriet?

Ahhhh... tell that sweet pea to enjoy her muffin tomorrow. Can't wait to see her picture (and her birthday outfit!)

Nancy Wyatt

Amazing story, never stop sharing it! tissue please! hugs from texas!


Love that story but that quote was just what i needed today thank you -

Kathy C

Happiness is hearing "your" story...everything happens for a reason!!! Happy 4th anniversary and HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY Miss Annie!

Big Mama

I believe I love that story.... gave me a nice little warmth.. and I also believe it makes it even better with the sweet little added.... "please don't do the math"..... you only live once.....


When Mr. Right opened your heart, isn't math important :-) What a cool story. Love reading it! I should send you my story. My story isn't for public reading *lol*


Awww!! And yeah - it makes you look good. Being in love makes everyone look good. *smiles*
Happy b-day, Annie!


what an amazing love story. May you two be always in loved with each other.

Megan Renfree

Wow! That is such a cool story!! I havn't heard it before and have wondered how you guys got together!! Very cool. And its very obvious how in love you two still are, which is just lovely!!! Happy anniversary to you, and happy b'day to your sweet girl for tomorrow too!


Love to read this story over and over again, Karen. It really feels like you and Josh are ment to be. Happy Birthday to Annie and Happy Valentine's Day to you and Josh.
Greetings from Sweden,


Oh Karen, I really do love your story! :) Can't read enough of it, waiting for it each and every year *lol* Actually I was looking for a special bloge ntry of you yesterday and stumbled upon last year's post *lol*
Wish I had such a great story with my hubby, but our's pretty boring....except the fact that all of our friends took a bet on how long we'll stay together - the longest bet was 6 months, I think...well, we're celebrating our 8th anniversary this August ;) (and no, we're not married yet, since I'm studiing at university and he wants to build up his business first *gg*)
Greetings from Austria and happy anniversary!


How romantic...what a great story!


Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday to Annie!

I hadn't heard the story before but love it! And why would Annie coming a year after you met make you look bad?? Maybe "slow".... *wink*
I jumped to bed two days after meeting my actual husband, (how's that for "bad"???!!) we have 3 wonderful children (25, 24 and 10) and have been happily married for 27 YEARS TODAY!!!!
So there.



Beautiful Story------and I so love that quote.

I never tire of telling the story of how I met my husband either. (at a gas station on my way home from getting a divorce) Guess it was meant to be.

Monica G

This is the sweetest love story I have heard in a long time! Just when you weren't looking for love it was right at your fingertips! It's funny how God does his work! Your story makes me remember mine and why I love my hubby so much! I too had a beautiful little miracle baby just over a year after my hubby and I met! We have been together almost 19 years now and it still feels like yesterday we just met!

ady abreu

The math doesn't matter when you have such a wonderful story attached to it. I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and you have a wonderful family. Your pictures speak a thousand words and all I see is "LOVE"


I got chills reading your story...if someone ever said they didn't believe in fate...they just need to read that!! It's amazing sometimes what life gives us!

Kathleen Kraft

Math has nothing to do with love or the awesome gift of a child. Congrats on an awesome story and life....Happy Birthday Annie and Happy Anniversary Karen and Josh (Harriet and Valentine)!

ana roat

Happy Birthday Annaliesa Belle Downs--we are so glad that your mommy and daddy "did" the right "thing"!!!!

Juli P in Minnesota

That is a beautiful story and gives hope to every hopless romantic out there. As for the math, the only math that is important is that 1+1=6! and six is a really happy blended family.
You are so lucky, each and every one of you.
Happy Valentine's Day! and all event associated with it!


I knwo your story and I NEVER, EVER get sick of hearing it. True love. and a great family. and who cares about the bad math. you have a beautiful child and life together. happy birthday annie and have anniversary and valentine's day karen and josh downs.

Beth P.

Such a sweet and fun story. You just never know when and where you're going to meet the right person. You just have to be open to it. And don't worry about the "math"... you were both adults and you were old enough to know what you wanted. After dating a little less than a year, my husband agreed to move in with me. I knew for sure that he was serious and would be proposing soon because I knew he wouldn't have moved in otherwise. Thanks for sharing your story!

Kelly Booth

Truly a Wonderful Story....Happy Anniversary to you and Josh and a Happy Happy 3rd Birthday to Yannie....


I think that is fantastic!! Love the nicknames for each other.

Jessica K.

I still love hearing that story. And don't worry about the math I was never good at it anyways. And even if I could figure it out it doesn't matter, what matters is that you found someone and realized on that very same day that you totally wanted to marry him.


The first quote made me cry! What a keeper - both of you, that is.

Nicky from Canada

Love the story - and true love when you know it and it is right - the time doesn't matter. I had known my now husband for about 5 to 6 years (was dating a loser) prior to us getting together, our first date was Dec 24/00 - our son was born Dec 20/01 (induced early) - when you know you know!!!
Happy Birthday to Annie and congrats to you two!!


Happy Birthday Annie! It's so har dto believe that your three already. MG will be 3 in June how fast they are growing up.

Wendy Goodman

LOVE this story. Unbelievable how each event happened in a way so you could meet each other at just the right time. If that person hadn't been sleeping in your seat, you never would have sat next to Josh Downs. No such thing as coincidence...sounds like you were meant to be together.

Mary MacAskill

Karen, i've read the story of how you met before, but it always warms my heart. Thanks for sharing and have a very special valentine's day with your honey!

cindy b

What a love story!! Absolutely, WITHOUT A DOUBT...Harriet and Valentine were destined to be together. I could hear that story a million times Love it!!


I've heard & read that story several times and I never tire of it. I will read it everyt ime you post it. Still makes me all misty and so does that quote he sent you. Here's hoping that everyone finds their Harriet some day! :)

St├ęphanie Pouliot

love your love story! Thansk for sharing it!
Have a great Valentine's w-end!!!


Who cares about the maths, when you know, you know!!!!

Bonnie C

Hi Karen. Such a cool story! Congrats to you & Josh. We have something in common b/c today is the 9th anniversary of the day I met my husband.

Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday to Annie! Oh, and while I'm at it, Happy Valentine's Day!

Lan Amphone

I've heard this story before but you must be adding to it each time cuz there's parts I didn't know before. It is the sweetest encounter I've ever heard...or maybe it's just your story telling abilities.

I ordered two of your kits and can not wait until it arrives!!!


It's destiny for you and Josh to be together! Sweet story.


Your story and the life you and he share with your beautiful brood of kids makes me believe in soulmates and that things happen for a reason. I don't think that everyone is lucky enough to experience the kind of love you have, maybe because sometimes we are too busy rushing, worrying, surfing the net and just maybe we pass right by that person without even looking up. I just know that everytime you share that story it gives other people hope.


So....I don't care how many times you tell the story. I still love to hear it. And by the way....I love that quote from Benjamin Franklin! :)


Awww... Happy Anniversary and Happy Valentine's day. I've missed you since class ended but I keep recommending your class to anyone and everyone who will listen.

Happy B-day Annie!


Oh Karen, This is just the sweetest most romantic story ever!! Lovely shot of you two!! Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday to your sweet little Annie!!!

Cindy Welch

Time and the exact date never matter when you meet your soul mate.


It's just meant to be. Don't even try to fight it. Lucky you, lucky him, lucky family =)

Kathy (kathyb)

Karen, this is such a beautiful story. You look so happy together. Happie birthday to miss "Yannie". I'm glad she's wearing her "big girl pants" now she is 3!!


oh puhleeze! me and my husband: first night we met! LOL


Such a beautiful love story - you are one blessed family :)

Happy Valentine's Day to you all!


That is the cutest story!! I met my hubby in Atlanta too!! So sweet to always hear about your life and all the good that came out of that plane flight! Happy planeiversary and Happy bday to Annie

Kim Bolyard

I love that story....I have read it before here...but I still love husband and I were engaged 4 days after we I know how these things is our fairy tale with a happy hubby and I will be married 19 years in april.


Colleen Barron

Thank you for sharing your love store. Some of us are newer to your blog and hadn't read it before. (PS: I never was good at math.)

Colleen Barron

Okay, so apparently I am not very good at typing either. Story not store. (crap)

Anna-Marie Still

Even though I've heard the story bunches of times, I never tire of it and I learn new bits each time! I never knew Annie's full name - so beautiful!
So sweet!

Nancy L in Vancouver

Awwwh!!! I love hearing that story everytime I hear it.


Terrific love story!

Shauna M

everything happens for a reason..
good thing that person was so 'rude' and fell asleep in your specially requested window seat,lol.. if not, where would you be today..
love hearing stories like that...


Math is overrated....that is just about the most beautiful story ever. EVER.
I've got goosebumps....and tears in my eyes......

amy mckinley

love, love, love that story...congratulations and happy birthday to your lil' one! :)

Corie in Indy

I love this story! Thanks for sharing! I learn something new every time you tell it, I think! :o) You two sound like you have a great relationship. Awesome. Happy Valentine's Day (a little after the fact)!

Julie McD

What a great story!!! And I LOVE Yannie's full name. I just always assumed it was Annie! Hope her birthday was great! Thanks for sharing!


Must be something about those flights out of Atlanta ;) My friend met her husband 5 years ago on a flight out of Atlanta too!

What a great "how we met" story!


Wow! God is so powerful! That quote was JUST what I needed.

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